Aug 2, 2012

Sensory Play Activites for Babies

Readers often ask me for sensory activities for their young babies.  While many of the playtimes I share are safe for young ones to partake in on some level, I thought it would be helpful to have a resource full of fun play ideas specifically for babies.

Activities for Babies ( & Toddlers)
What can baby do?  TONS!  Here are over 50 fun activities perfect for young babies (and toddlers too!)
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Activities for Babies

Make  Sensory Bags.  These are great for babies still putting everything in their mouth, and they are mess free too!  We have made so many types of sensory bags.  The ones below are some of our favorites.

sensory bags

Another great sensory bag for baby is this sensory bag from Plain Vanilla Mom.  I love that she used green gel and all the other things she added.




Here is a sensory material perfect for babies and toddlers.  These amazing flakes are so fun, and there are so many ways for little ones to play!

Sensory Activities


 Explore textures with varying balls like Plain Vanilla Mom.  It is amazing how many ways baby will find to play with a simple basket of balls;  Sorting, mouthing, filling and dumping, throwing and fetching.....




Make Sensory Bottles like these from The Iowa Farmers Wife.   You can make these using just about anything, and kids love them! 

baby sensory activity bottles

Add a bit of learning to sensory bottle play and make rainbow sensory bottles.  These are great for babies on to preschoolers and can be used to learn colors, shapes, early maths, and more!

Rainbow Discovery Bottles


Make a sound guitar for baby.  How cute is this idea from House of Burke?  I love it!



A tugging box will surely keep the little ones entertained.  This easy to make toy from Laughing Kids Learn is on our must try list... now all we need is another baby ;)



Another great box idea for baby- sensory boxes from Meri Cherry

Sensory Boxes for Babies and Toddlers - What to do with a cardboard Box


Make fun Texture Boards  like Carrots are Orange.  Just be sure that small pieces are secure and supervise play.

IMG 43591 225x300 Toddler & Preschool Texture and Sound Basket


Make a First Sensory Bin  for baby.  I love this idea from Plain Vanilla Mom.  The large shells are perfect for babies to play and explore with safely.  

baby sensory bin activity


Another great sensory bin for babies is this Animal Hide and Seek Bin from Dirt and Boogers.... just be sure that you don't include small pieces.

Animal hide and seek


Shaving Cream in a Bag is lots of fun and keeps it out of little ones mouth and eyes.  A bag full of shaving cream sounds too easy, but it feels SO COOL!  Try it!





Rainbow Bubble Sensory Play was a favorite with my babes!  Both Rosie and Jewel still love this activity.  




Set up some super bubble fun and Fill a Pool With Bubbles like Plain Vanilla Mom.  Talk about a fun bubble bath!  Nothing beats a pool of bubbles on a hot Summer day.

bubble pool play activity


Put together a Touchy Feely Runway like the one shared by Nurturestore.  This simple to set up activity is great for new crawlers and walkers.

cjamesphoto2 225x300 Sensory play spaces


Giant Sponge Sensory Play has remained a favorite here for many months and is perfect for young tots and babes.  The materials needed are likely ones you have on hand, too!


sensory play


Make a sensory sound basket for baby  like this one shared by The Pleasantest Thing on Growing a Jeweled Rose




Infant Massage is a great way for babies to explore their sense of touch.  Get all the information you need on infant massage on Algeliquefelix.com




 Make those sensory bags GLOW  Fun for kids of all ages!

glowing baby play activity

Simply lay in the grass and explore the outside.  Baby will explore new sights and sounds and feel the grass and air on their skin.  Quite a sensory experience for new life.

simple baby sensory play activities


Go on a Sensory Nature Walk  like The Pleasantest Thing.  There are so many things for baby to discover and explore for the very first time.

sensory walk play activity


Pasta noodles There are so many ways for little ones to explore and play with pasta noodles. The possibilities are endless, and it is a great sensory material for babies!  Set up an alphabet hunt in pasta

pasta sensory play activity for babies and toddlers


 or how about letting little ones search for sea life in ocean spaghetti ?
spaghetti sensory play activity for kids

Another favorite when Jewel was a babe was this ocean sensory bath



Pasta noodles can be found in large packages at Dollar Tree and can be used for several activities before needing to be tossed.  It is frugal and the benefits of sensory play outweigh the minimal food loss.


 Mix oats with water  for some fun and messy play like Carrots are Orange

20111022 134615 Oats and Water Mash Sensory Tub


Try Condiment fingerpainting like Mama Pea Pod




Make a Jello Ocean Small World.   Jello is another fabulous sensory material for babies with endless ways to play!

jello ocean sensory play activity

Another great idea for Jello play from Dirt & Boogers-  Jello and Cars

IMG_4693


GOOP is another great sensory material for babies!  While eating goop should be discouraged, it is 100%  safe to ingest, making it a great first sensory material!

goop sensory play activity

Here are 25 fun ways to PLAY with GOOP, most safe for babies.


Let baby explore with Ice Block Play.  A great simple sensory playtime from Picklebums

ice play


Ice and Water is another great activity for babe.  The varying temperatures make for quite a sensory experience.  Chasing the ice cubes is also great for hand-eye coordination, fine motor development, and fighting that boredom! 

ice and water baby play activity
  

Sensory baths make fantastic first sensory experiences for babies.  We  have created so many of these fun baths.  Click here to see our favorites!

Bath ideas for kids

Have baby Chase Colored Ice Cubes in the bathSimple fun from Dirt and Boogers

ice cubes in the bath play activity
s

I love these Colored Water Bottles from Plain Vanilla Mom




Edible Finger Paint This paint recipe is easy to make and edible, making it perfect for the tiniest tots.

play recipe


For those who are moving away from the mouthing stage, you may want to try:

Just Shaving Cream  I did this with Jewel when she was only 8 months old.  She only took one taste, and that was enough for her to know she did not want anymore.  

shaving cream baby play activity


SLIME!  Rosie LOVED this and did not try to eat any of it!  Watch baby closely though to ensure none is ingested!  Slime is not edible.

slime baskets fun play activity for kids


Baby Bath Paint  This bath paint is easy to make and tear free.  You only need two common household ingredients to make it, too!

Baby Bath Paint


Another great paint for babies is this flour paint from Bower Power


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So there you have it!  56 sensory play ideas to keep those babies busy and foster their exploration of this great big world!

baby sensory play activites

Note-  Only do what you are comfortable with when playing with you own baby.  Watch babies closely during play to ensure safety!  These playtimes are meant to be enjoyed together.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding any of the activities above.


We share fun kids activities several times a week!

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Crystal